Community garden gives insight on growth and nutrition

The West Hills community is giving the people of Amarillo the chance to reap what they sow with a community garden located at St. Peter's Episcopal Church.

Founded three years ago, the garden has grown in both size and abundance.

"We have all kinds of things," West Hills Neighborhood President Ellen Robertson-Green said. "We make spearmint and then we grow normal things. We have a lot of tomatoes, we have some zucchini squash, we have some okra- we love okra. We have a lot of herbs."

People from all walks of life are invited to tend the garden and to take part in harvest.

"We try to mimic natural processes, so just come out and see what we have," Garden Coordinator Amber Spencer said. "We have a rainwater catchment, you know, we have compost. Get a basic understanding of growing your own food and, you know, you can take that that home with you and grow your own food."

For the past two years, St. Peter's has paid the city water bill for the garden, and Spencer added both The Rev. Bob Taliaferro and the church congregation have gracious about offering their help.

"They're a really amazing body of a church to be out here and to donate their time and their resources. And they're very connected to the neighborhood."

The San Jacinto community borders West Hills, and many people from that community take part in the garden and collect its food.

"They are what's considered a food desert- they don't have a grocery store nearby," Robertson-Green pointed out. "So, we enjoy sharing what we can grow here with the people in San Jacinto."

The garden not only provides education and nutrition, but also a social experience for everyone involved.

"I have a young son and one on the way and it's just to educate him, to get him more familiar with what's on his plate, how it got there," Spencer said. "It's not just at the grocery store. There's work involved, and there's success and failure. And I want him to understand that."